Spring In The Air

Pick 6 - Net Carryover R500 000 - Starts Race 4 @ 14h05 - Estimated Pool R2,2 Million

The  Sham yard has been in sparkling form down in the Eastern Cape and they travel their bargain buy Classify to Gauteng for today’s R250 000 Gr3 Spring Spree Stakes. The son of Sail From Seattle has the R750 000 Grand Heritage later this month as his main target.

Classify – how good is he?

Classify has won 5 of 9 starts in the Eastern Cape and based on his performances and the opinions of three different top-class jockeys that he could hold his own in Gauteng, the Sham team will travel the long road. They own New Turf Carriers so transport costs probably didn’t really come into consideration.

“In terms of the Grand Heritage qualifying criteria Classify must have had at least one run from first entry up to final supplementary entries on 18 September. So based on some expert advice on acclimatisation from Mike and Matt de Kock, we thought we would take our chances in the Spring Spree. So it’s either stay for the Grand Heritage or home James on Monday,” she laughed.

Dorrie conceded that the Turffontein Inside Track 1200m was a touch tight for the big gelding, who takes his time to get going.

“They should be too quick for him, but Marco (Van Rensburg) knows him well and he deserves a chance to show us how good he is,” she said.

Champagne Haze – carries topweight

Gary Alexander sent out 2016 winner Kangaroo Jack and he teams up with Mark Khan with 63kg topweight Champagne Haze. Pierre Jourdan’s talented half-brother ran on well in the Mercury Sprint for a 2,40 length fifth last time and as a classy course-and-distance winner warrants serious respect – if overcoming his wide draw.

The 7yo Captain Aldo is another drawn wide but is overdue an eighth win after running four seconds at his last five starts.

The Azzmen conditioned Will Pays has been allotted top weight of 64.5kgs for the Grand Heritage and will also be looking to run his usual game race here. He has drawn against the rail and could get closer to Pure Blonde (drawn 15),who he meets on a kilo better terms for a 0,70 length beating last time.

The Alec Laird trained Pure Blonde is in prime form and goes for three in a row. He is also a kilo worse off with Captain Aldo on their last meeting and will need every ounce of Weichong Marwing’s brilliance in the saddle to overcome the wide draw.

Course and distance winner Amazing Strike comes in fresh off a six week break and Francois Herholdt returns from a successful Saudi stint to ride him. He never runs a bad race and there is little to separate him and Will Pays.

Spring Steel is the third of the Azzie trio and must have a shout on his best form with a handy galloping weight of 52,5kgs.

Brett Warren’s Sporting Monarch is an improving sort and could reverse the placings with Pure Blonde with the benefit of his 3,5kg swing for a 2,70 length beating last time.

Romi’s Boy is the third of the Alec Laird trio. His form is consistent but he comes off a 12 week break and may need it.

Maximiser and Keagan De Melo cruise in

Paul Peter’s Maximiser comes in off his impressive Listed Darley Arabian win on the polytrack on Gold Cup weekend and may find this on the short side. The son of Querari is very highly thought of and worth inclusion in quartets.

This race looks likely to be decided in the first 300m, with a good measure of the class drawn wide.

Dorrie Sham throws Classify into the deep end and the race will be on late, with the likes of Champagne Haze and Captain Aldo set to challenge Pure Blonde and Will Pays. Maximiser is no slouch either. Go wide.

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